NEW YORK, Dec. 8, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP hosted a Government Leadership forum today on Obama Care and what it means for the delivery of health care in New York. The guests were Dr. Scott Cooper, President and Chief Executive Officer of St. Barnabas Hospital; Richard J. Donoghue, Senior Vice President for Strategy and Business Development at NYU Langone Medical Center; and Karen Ignagni, President and Chief Executive Officer of EmblemHealth.
Robert Abrams, former New York State Attorney General and Chair of Stroock's Government Relations Practice Group, and Charles G. Moerdler, Co-Chair of Stroock's Litigation Practice Group, moderated the panel discussion.
"Health care is one of the most fundamental and critical issues to the people and life of New York," said Abrams. "This distinguished group of leaders in the healthcare delivery system provided a deep perspective on the economics and challenges of implementing Obama Care in the region as well as across the country."
All the panelists agreed that the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, as Obama Care is routinely called, is at the beginning of the process and is a work in progress. They also agreed that coordination of health care will benefit both providers and consumers - which is everyone.
"The ACA was introduced because we were trying to fix something that was unsustainable," said Cooper of St. Barnabas, who explained that the previous health care model began after WWII, when employment and insurance were combined. "That model has been decoupled, and people can access health care separately from employment. Thirty-five million people now have insurance who didn't have it before."
"The health care system is evolving," said Donoghue of NYU. "The need for beds is not what it was – for example, patients have hip replacement surgery at the Hospital for Special Surgery and go home seven hours later." He added that health care is less about individual pricing than coordination. "If we manage for quality, the quality of delivery will improve," he said.
Moerdler said that patients still have anxieties. "Patients want to know, 'What kind of care will I be getting and from whom?' They are concerned about access to good health care."
Ignagni of EmblemHealth said, "The discussion has shifted from volume to value. This is an important step for people's peace of mind as they get into the system." She added, with agreement from all participants, that the emergence of urgent care centers is good for competition. "It puts pressure on hospitals to be more efficient."
Cooper has functioned in a variety of administrative capacities including launching a managed care plan and serving as the medical director in both acute and long term care environments. He serves on numerous committees and boards and holds governance positions within various healthcare associations including GNHYA, Health First, Bronx RHIO and HANYS, where he is the current board chairman.
At NYU Langone Medical Center, Donoghue is responsible for the strategic initiatives of NYULMC which includes both NYU Hospitals Center and NYU School of Medicine. He is also responsible for the medical malpractice program, managed care contracting and payment reform response at NYULMC.
Prior to joining EmblemHealth in September 2015, Ignagni was President and CEO of America's Health Insurance Plans. At AHIP, Ms. Ignagni was active in working with the White House and congressional leadership on the development of health reform legislation, including the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Today's event was the 25th in a series hosted by Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP. The forum was sponsored by Stroock's Government Relations Practice Group, led by Abrams and comprised of former prosecutors, judges, and government agency officials. Abrams also served as President of the National Association of Attorneys General, Executive Chair of New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's Transition Committee and Honorary Co-Chair of Attorney General Schneiderman's Transition Committee.
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